Police are asking tourists who visited the Algarve resort where
Madeleine McCann went missing to send in their photographs in an
attempt to identify her abductor.
Officers want anyone in the Praia da Luz area of southern Portugal
in the two weeks prior to the four-year-olds disappearance on May 3
to send their photos to a new website.
It is understood that the submitted photographs will be
cross-referenced against a database of images of UK paedophiles and
other criminals. Any relevant information would then be passed on to
Police in the UK said they wanted photographs that included
strangers in the background and not family or empty scenic shots.
They are expected to use facial recognition technology to
cross-reference 1000 photos an hour with a database of UK suspects.
Jim Gamble, of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP)
Centre, said: "No matter how small or insignificant the information
may seem to you, it could be the missing part of the jigsaw, so let
us decide if it is important."
Photos can be uploaded at www.madeleine.ceopupload.com.
Robert Murat, 33, the British man named as the only suspect in the
girl's disappearance, is understood to have welcomed the move.
Tuck Price, a family friend, said the appeal for holiday photographs
showed that Portuguese police knew they had the wrong suspect. He
added: "Why else would they be doing this? If they are so convinced
about Robert, why would they still be looking?"
Mr Price also revealed his friend had collapsed in front of his
family, the second time Mr Murat had fainted since being questioned
over the abduction of the four-year-old girl.
Mr Price said a doctor had checked Mr Murat and found no problems
with his blood pressure, but he added that the fainting showed the
massive strain he has been under since being named as a suspect.
Meanwhile, at midday in the village of Praia da Luz, shoppers and
workers stood still to pay respects to the missing girl.
The initiative was given the blessing of the McCann family, who are
spearheading a campaign to imprint Madeleine's image on the minds of
people across Europe and North Africa in the hope that she will be
They are convinced that she is alive and well despite no news of her
whereabouts for two-and-a-half weeks.
Madeleine's mother Kate observed the silence privately in her
In Portimao, the regional capital of the Algarve, senior detectives
investigating Madeleine's disappearance also stopped for one minute
in solidarity with the family.
At the Baptista supermarket in the centre of Praia da Luz, close to
where the abduction happened, music was turned off, cash registers
stopped and staff and customers stood silently at noon.
Among them was local Portuguese woman Natalie Ferreira, 56.
She said: "I stopped to pray to God to bring back Madeleine; all the
Portuguese people feel this in their hearts.
"I lived in Germany for a long time before coming back here to
Portugal and I know that there is more security here than in London
or Germany. It has shocked everyone."
large red heart containing a picture of
Madeleine fixed to the wall in front of the altar.
As the church bell sounded to mark midday, some bowed their heads in
prayer while others inside the church gazed at a large red heart
containing a picture of Madeleine fixed to the wall in front of the
Yesterday's silent tribute came ahead of a nationwide prayer
initiative launched by Carmelite nuns in the north of the country.
The nuns sent out emails across Portugal, calling for people to pray
for Madeleine at 10pm today. Widespread participation is expected.
Last night, with only a fraction of the cheques opened, a fighting
fund to pay for the McCanns' campaign had topped ?184,000, up from
?116,000 earlier in the day - flowing in at ?2000 an hour.
A website on Madeleine's disappearance has received more than 100
Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl missing from home for more than 24
hours was last night found safe.
Paige Hayhoe, of Chesterton, Cambridge, appeared at the home of a
relative, a police spokeswoman said.